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How To Avoid Lightning Strikes on the Cloud

The answer is simple: multiple sites that are seamlessly connected

Commentary by Maximilian Ahrens, CTO, Zimory

There has been a lightning storm bringing parts of Amazon down (see here).

The question is: how can you avoid this - without building untenable worldwide distributed software. The answer is simple: multiple sites that are seamlessly connected (um, “real” cloud computing). If you have two sites available, the probability of lightning striking both sites at the same time is rather low. But the challenge is the seamless connectivity. You can have two compute sites, but starting up the workloads that were running on the site that was shut down is more complicated.

You need to have very efficient dispersed snapshot technologies to allow a failover of a recent state in a remote site. After all — isn’t that really the promise of cloud computing? Not a single mammoth Walmart (or, in this case, Amazon) data center, but a real distributed, “breathing” datacenter.

So, running a real multi-site cloud that creates added value with cold standby instances is not only building a overlay management layer, but also pretty tough technologies — but it can be done — and frankly, is being done.

More Stories By Glenn Rossman

Glenn Rossman has more than 25 years communications experience working at IBM and Hewlett-Packard, along with startup StorageApps, plus agencies Hill & Knowlton and G&A Communications. His experience includes media relations, industry and financial analyst relations, executive communications, intranet and employee communications, as well as producing sales collateral. In technology, his career includes work in channel partner communications, data storage technologies, server computers, software, PC and UNIX computers, along with specific industry initiatives such as manufacturing, medical, and finance. Before his latest stint in technology, Glenn did business-to-business public relations on behalf of the DuPont Company for its specialty polymers products and with the largest steel companies in North America in an initiative focused on automakers.

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